2020 has ushered a completely new world, where everything has gone through a metamorphosis. In this changed scenario, the buying and consumption patterns of consumer have been impacted and it will continue for some more time. The pandemic, which resulted in many cultural and social developments, has led to the transformation of the FMCG and food industry,which is leaving no stone unturned to make a strong, emotional and yet personal connections with the consumers.
After a significant impact during the lockdown, the food and FMCG industry in India is reported to have recovered sharply in June. There was a clear prioritisation on these categories made by consumers during the lockdown period, and significant recovery of others with Unlock 1.0 in June. Health and sustainability have once again become the focal point behind changing consumer trends in the sector.
The other prominent trends that are impacting the industry globally and in India in the coming months are:
Home-cooked food is the new fad: This trend of Ghar ka Khana & Do It Yourself (DIY) cooking became a rage during lockdown as the eateries and online food deliveries were shut and house help was not around. And even when the eateries resumed their services, people were skeptical to order food online thinking about the sanitization and cleanliness. This led to continued sales for categories like Packaged Atta and retail packs of Edible Oil brands. These categories continue to be in the shopper’s basket in Unlock 1.0 as consumers continue to be cautious.
Accountable consumption: As we are witnessing how environmental pollution are on rise because of our irresponsible behaviour towards environment and leading to many severe health issues, people are becoming more adjusting about the idea of making sacrifices for their health and environment. It is also providing a new opportunity for brands to make a powerful, purposeful, personal connection with consumers by addressing and communicating both at the same time.
Consumers prepared for uncertainty: The eight-month has been the biggest learning lesson for the consumers. With the rising unemployment, pay cuts and enterprise closure, people have become well-accustomed with the uncertain times. Consumers are staying away from discretionary spending, a trend that has significantly increased since the April study, according to Nielsen report. On the other hand, uncertainty and health concerns are prompting consumers to get themselves prepared for the future by spending more on fitness and health, education and financial investments.
Packaged products are on rise: As consumers are now looking for something healthy and convenient, they are increasingly looking for packaged products. With more time being spent on cooking and experimentation, categories like packaged ginger garlic paste, tomato puree, packaged chutneys, recipe specific masalas, pizza/pasta ingredients, dairy cream are witnessing growth. Immunity boosting food and beverages is now a segment in them, which is driving growth even for new products like Aloe juice, Amla juice, Turmeric milk, Ginger and Tulsi milk.
Informative Packaging products are preferred: It has been seen that the food consumption is grown within a very close distance has popularized multiple food and beverage products. Packaging can play an interesting role to become more distinct, expressing the uniqueness of its content and where the pack visuals could be inspired by its origin. Brands can also communicate these benefits to consumers through enhanced transparency and traceability to help the consumer know more about the origin of the product.
Arising demand of local products: The desire to shop local is reflected in both the products consumer buy (e.g. locally sourced, artisanal) and the way they shop (e.g. supporting community stores). The Consumer-Packaged Goods brands are also finding out multiple ways to connect locally – be it through highlighting local provenance, customizing for local needs or engaging in locally relevant ways.